Grade 12 English Language Arts Practice Questions

1. The following selection is from a dictionary. Which of the following sentences uses this word correctly?

CAMAIL
Ca*mail", n. Etym: [F. camail (cf. It. camaglio), fr. L. caput head +
source of E. mail.] 1. (Ancient Armor) Defn: A neck guard of chain mall, hanging from the bascinet or other headpiece. 2. A hood of other material than
mail; esp. (Eccl.), a hood worn in church services, -- the amice, or the like.

a. The elderly monk lifted the camail, tossed it lightly onto the pile of glazed tiles, and hoped that he would soon have enough to finish the stained glass window.
b. The hair stood up on the back of her neck; Sarah gently nudged her horse forward and began to draw her sword from its camail.
c. The soldier tossed his helmet on the ground, wiped the sweat from his eyes, and tied his camail to his arm.
d. The sword leaped high over the paladin's head, and then, with lightening swiftness, jerked back, clanging loudly against his camail.

2. Which of the following choices best defines the underlined word?

The impoverished shepherds stumbled upon the stele while desperately searching for some lost sheep; they were surprised and puzzled by the bizarre lines and squiggles that covered its face.

a. an item that has been looted from a tomb
b. a sign that indicates direction
c. the side of cliff
d. a large, inscribed stone

3. Which of the following choices best completes the sentence?

When at last Amber was able to _____________ the numerous difficulties associated with the task, she concluded the wisdom of her grandfather was not only desirable, but absolutely necessary.

a. perceive
b. perception
c. perceptive
d. perceived

4. Read the paragraph below. What figure of speech is being used?

From All Things Considered (GK Chesterton)

"So I do not think that it is altogether fanciful or incredible to suppose that even the floods in London may be accepted and enjoyed poetically. Nothing beyond inconvenience seems really to have been caused by them; and inconvenience, as I have said, is only one aspect, and that the most unimaginative and accidental aspect of a really romantic situation. An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered. The water that girdled the houses and shops of London must, if anything, have only increased their previous witchery and wonder."

a. hyperbole
b. paradox
c. euphemism
d. synecdoche

5. Which of the following words best completes the sentence?

The plan seemed flawless until its execution. The flames from the modified grill licked the bottom portion of the new wooden deck. Emil's elation warped into horror as he began to sweat. His grandparents had been extremely angry with the experiment on their car and his grandfather's red face hung before his eyes like a dark vision: "Before you _______________ some other wild plan, talk to me first so we don't need to bring in the fire department."

a. concoct
b. invent
c. make
d. design

6. Which of the following sentences shows the correct usage of the hyphen?

a. Miriam was a real-estate-broker with Hendry and Henderson, so she understood the importance of a well-cared-for home.
b. Felipe dialed Joyce's number since it was easy-to-remember and listened with baited breath.
c. Although Biraju was not an accident-prone person, he knew his older brother did not share this trait.
d. James and Henry, both twenty-one year old students, had been able to pass the difficult test for medical school.

7. Which of the following choices is misspelled?

a. conciliatory
b. paroxism
c. malevolence
d. pernicious

Questions 8 - 10 are based on the following poem, "Because I Could Not Stop For Death,"

written by Emily Dickenson

Because I could not stop for Death-
He kindly stopped for me-
The Carriage held but just Ourselves-
And Immortality.

We slowly drove-He knew no haste
And I had put away
My labor and my leisure too,
For His Civility-

We passed the School, where Children played
Their lessons scarcely; done
We passed the Fields of Gazing Grain-
We passed the Setting Sun-

Or rather-He passed Us-
The Dews drew quivering and chill-
For only Gossamer, my Gown-
My Tippet-only Tulle-

We paused before a House that seemed
A Swelling of the Ground-
The Roof was scarcely visible-
The Cornice-in the Ground-

Since then-'tis Centuries-and yet
Feels shorter than the Day
I first surmised the Horses' Heads
Were toward Eternity-

8. Which of the following choices illustrates two themes from the poem?

a. death as a person and the stark, cold reality of eternity
b. the overall swiftness of life, with a focus on childhood, and the coldness of the grave
c. death as something not to be feared and the comparative banality of life
d. the sequence of life and daily living that keeps us from deep thought

9. How does Dickenson treat Death?

a. She envisions him as a gentleman caller who has some consideration for her comfort.
b. She pictures him as a carriage driver hurrying towards a final destination.
c. She thinks of him as a passenger on the long ride to eternity with Immortality.
d. She considers him a false friend, one who has appeared to be kind but actually is cruel.

10. How does the ending of the poem contribute to the overall poem?

a. The ending has a negative connotation, showing that eternity is very long and life is short.
b. The ending has a positive connotation, showing that eternity and death are not to be feared.
c. The ending has a positive connotation, indicating that centuries have already passed.
d. The ending has a negative connotation, indicating that time is wasted in life.

Answers and Explanations

1. D: The sword leaped high over the paladin's head, and then, with lightening swiftness, jerked back, clanging loudly against his camail. This sentence uses the first definition of the word, which is a part of a headpiece. Only Choice D makes sense, since the camail is made from chain mail and hangs around the neck. The other sentences are incorrect: A indicates the item is fragile and light, B treats it as a scabbard, and C as a garment that can be worn on the arm.

2. D: a large inscribed stone. A stele is a large, upright stone that typically has writing on it. It is used as a monument; steles were commonly used in ancient cultures in the Middle East.

3. A: perceive. This is the correct form of the word for the sentence.

4. B: paradox. This is an example of a paradox. A paradox is a figure of speech that has contradictory aspects or an assertion which seems self contradictory. It is a kind of irony.

5. A: concoct. While the words are all very similar in meaning (denotation), only concoct best matches the tone of the passage: Emil is prone to developing wild ideas that result in disaster. "Invent" (B) and "design" (D) have positive connotations, while "make" (C) has a neutral feeling about it.

6. C: Although Biraju was not an accident-prone person, he knew that his older brother did not share this trait. Only choice C correctly uses the hyphen. Hyphens are used for many reasons, such as to make an adjective and a noun a compound word or in numbers (fifty-seven). Choice A uses too many hyphens (real-estate-broker), B does not use "easy-to-remember" as an adjective, and D is missing hyphens "twenty-one-year-old students".

7. B: paroxysm. A paroxysm is a fit or sudden attack of a disease or emotion.

8. C: death as something not to be feared and the comparative banality of life. Choice A identifies the personification in the poem, but mischaracterizes the way eternity is seen. Choices B and D do not relate to the passage in its entirety.

9. A: She envisions him as a gentleman caller who has some consideration for her comfort. This can be seen in lines 2 and 5, where Dickenson mentions that Death "kindly stopped for me" and "We slowly drove-He knew no haste."

10. B: The ending has a positive connotation, showing that eternity and death are not to be feared. The last few lines of the poem show that centuries have already flown by, but they don't seem long. This contributes to the overall positive feeling in the poem about death and the afterlife.

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Grade 11-12 Common Core English Language Arts Language Overview

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Last Updated: 03/01/2017


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